White students undergo weekly ‘deconstructing whiteness’ program at Northwestern University
White college students are undergoing a weekly “deconstructing whiteness” program at Northwestern University.The “6-part workshop series for undergraduate students who self-identify as white” launched in January and runs through March, according to the university’s website. Students enrolled chose to do so – it is voluntary.A spokesman for the prestigious private university located outside Chicago declined to give The College Fix details on the program, such as how many students enrolled and how it’s been received so far.
“It’s part of Northwestern’s Social Justice Education effort to create learning opportunities for our students,” Bob Rowley, a spokesman for the campus, told The College Fix in an email, providing a link to the social justice webpage and adding: “Beyond that, we don’t have anything more for you on it.”According to a report in the campus newspaper, the workshops focus on “terminology used in conversations of race, the history and meaning of whiteness, white guilt and the difference between intellectualizing and feeling racism.”“There’s a lot of space on this campus for conversations to happen around issues of privilege and specifically around issues of white privilege,” Michele Enos, assistant director of the university’s Social Justice Education office, told The Daily Northwestern.A poster advertising the workshop series (shown above) posed rhetorical questions such as: “What is my role in doing anti-racist work?” or “why do I have to feel guilty about being white?” and “how can I talk about race as a white person?”The Daily Caller reports the events are hosted in collaboration with the university’s Women’s Center.“Students applying for the program are required to commit to attend all six sessions, seemingly preventing students from abandoning the program if they don’t like it or feel uncomfortable,” the Caller reports.
The program is a part of Northwestern’s “Social Justice Education” office, which “creates co-curricular educational opportunities in partnership with our student community that foster self-exploration, facilitate conversations across difference and support actions that create social change on campus,” according to its website.
Similar programming like the “Deconstruction Whiteness” workshop includes “student activism workshops” that end “racist cis-patriarchy” or programs that “navigate” real life diversity issues.